Your teapot needs to air too

For those who are getting ready for their holiday, here is some essential advice on your teapot. If you don’t use it for several days, rinse it out with clean water. Never use detergent, of course. Then place it either way up, it doesn’t matter, but without its lid. The air needs to circulate inside it while you’re away. The teapot needs to dry properly, and not remain damp inside. So just place the lid alongside the teapot, or on the top, but the wrong way around. This means you will find your teapot in excellent condition when you return, ready to brew teas at their best!

Posted in Inspirational by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

The “zhong”: a good means to assess a tea’s potential

There are many ways of drinking tea. At home you can use a teapot, a mug, a “kyusu” or a “zhong”, to name a few…

When I visit farmers I discover other methods of preparing tea, sometimes using different equipment. So I adapt my approach to the tasting according to the method used. Here, with our producer of Dan Congs, the teas are infused three times in a row, in a zhong, and each infusion is poured immediately into one of the bowls set out in front. We taste each of the three liquors, and can then easily assess the tea’s potential to be prepared using the “Gong Fu Cha”.

Posted in Country : China, Professional tasting by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , , , ,

The “zhong”: two ways of using it well

In China, there are various ways of using the “zhong”. This recipient – also known as a “gaiwan” – can be used as a cup in which the tea infuses. You drink directly from it, retaining the cover and leaving a slight gap to hold back the leaves.

The “zhong” can also be used as a teapot for “gong-fu”, in which several short infusions are prepared. After each one, every last drop of tea is poured into a reserve pot, from which the guests’ tiny cups are filled.

Everyone then gets to taste a tea with particularly concentrated aromas, and to observe the changes in the liquor’s texture and fragrances, infusion after infusion.

Posted in Country : China by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , ,

Preparing tea according to the Gong Fu method

In Taiwan and in some regions of China, tea is prepared according to the Gong Fu method. This requires a very small teapot, smelling cups, tasting cups and a tea boat, a hollow vessel into which you pour the water used to rinse the tea and the cups.

The Gong Fu method consists of infusing the same tea leaves repeatedly for just a few seconds at a time. Each infusion, known as “water”, releases new aromas, until there are no more.

This method is particularly appropriate for the preparation of certain Wu Long or Pu Er teas. On Sunday I tasted a 2008 Pu Er Xiao using this method: it was a real treat.

Posted in Country : Taiwan by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , , ,

Gong Fu Cha is the way to prepare tea in China

In the West, tea is often prepared in a teapot, usually containing between 50cl and 150cl of tea. In Asia, however, where tea is very popular, the use of a teapot of this size, or even of a teapot at all, is not as common as here. In China, for example, where there are probably the most number of tea drinkers on the planet, tea is traditionally drunk from a zhong (a small bowl with a lid) or from tiny cups filled from a tiny teapot. These utensils – some of which you can see in this photo – comprise what is called Gong Fu Cha.

Posted in Country : China by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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